Richter Named SFRES Researcher of the Year
In the 26 years Dana Richter has been a part of Michigan Tech’s School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (SFRES), he has served in many capacities, from classroom teacher to researcher and advisor. While his roles may have varied, one thing hasn’t changed—the passion he brings to everything he does.
That dedication, commitment and passion have not gone unnoticed by students and peers. The SFRES has awarded Richter, a research scientist and adjunct associate professor, the Researcher of the Year Award for 2016.
Terry Sharik, dean of SFRES, says despite what the name of the award may indicate, the honor is not bestowed annually.
“Actually, we haven’t given out the award in anyone’s recent memory,” Sharik says. “We use it to highlight the researchers who are our unsung heroes.”
Sharik said awarding the Researcher of the Year to Richter is a reflection of his outstanding career.
“It’s his body of work that we’re honoring. It’s a body of work that is impressive and worthy of recognition.” Sharik said the award was voted by the faculty, staff and students of SFRES.
Much of Richter’s research is for industry, such as testing for decay in wood products and testing new wood preservatives. A great deal of his research involves fungus and mold testing. “I do things in this lab, using sterile technique, that you’d do in a hospital,” Richter says.
Sharik said of Richter, “He is our expert in forest pathology.”
Richter says he’s humbled by the School’s recognition. “I’m truly honored. I couldn’t have done it without the support of so many wonderful colleagues over the years. To work in this department has been a joy.”
But working in his chosen field seems to be his greatest honor. “I can’t say how fulfilled I am to be working in the field of forestry, with trees and with wood.”
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